PRESTON, Benjamin, CAPT

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1967-1968, Naval Air Technical Training Command (Faculty Staff)/NATTC (Faculty Staff) Lakehurst, NJ
Service Years
1939 - 1969
Captain Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

516 kb

Home State
Colorado
Colorado
Year of Birth
1913
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven D. Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember PRESTON, Benjamin (NAVY CROSS x3), CAPT USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Timnath / Fort Collins, Colorado
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Mar 26, 2001
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30 Recruiting Command of Excellence


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Dragon


 Military Association Memberships
Legion Of Valor
  1985, Legion Of Valor - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain Benjamin Gifford PRESTON, USNR


Captain BEN PRESTON, USNR,  joined the U.S. Navy in September of 1939, Ben flew SBDs with BS-5 off the Yorktown during the Battle of the Coral Sea and Midway.  Preston was a carrier pilot on the USS Yorktown, the USS Enterprise and USS Intrepid during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. He served in all the major Pacific campaigns making a total of 740 deck landings.

Awards and Citations

  1. Navy Cross
    Awarded for actions during World War Two


    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant [then Ensign] Benjamin Gifford Preston (NSN: 0-84203), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron FIVE (VT-5), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), in dive bombing against enemy Japanese forces at Tulagi Harbor on 4 May 1942, and in an attack on an enemy aircraft carrier in the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. Pressing home these attacks in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and, on 8 May, also harassed by heavy aircraft opposition, Ensign Preston assisted greatly in the sinking or damaging of the carrier and eight other enemy vessels. His conscientious devotion to duty and gallant self-command against formidable odds contributed materially to the success of our forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

    General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 14 (June 28, 1942)
    Action Date: May 4, 7 & 8, 1942
    Service: Naval Reserve
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Company: Torpedo Squadron 5 (VT-5)
    Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

  2. Navy Cross
    Awarded for actions during World War Two

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Benjamin Gifford Preston (NSN: 0-84203), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Scouting Plane of Scouting Squadron FIVE (VS-5), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 - 6 June 1942. Defying extreme danger from concentrated anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition, Lieutenant Preston, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, participated in persistent and vigorous attacks against the Japanese invasion fleet. His gallant intrepidity and loyal devotion to the accomplishment of a vastly important objective contributed in large measure to the success achieved by our forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

    General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 18a (July 18, 1942)
    Action Date: June 4 - 6, 1942
    Service: Naval Reserve
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Company: Scouting Squadron 5 (VS-5)
    Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

  3. Navy Cross
    Awarded for actions during World War Two

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Benjamin Gifford Preston (NSN: 0-84203), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber of Bombing Squadron EIGHTEEN (VB-18), attached to the U.S.S. INTREPID (CV-11), during the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, on 26 October 1944. As leader of a division of 16 carrier-based dive bombers, Lieutenant Preston participated in an attack which obtained five confirmed hits on an enemy carrier Task Force. He dropped his bomb load squarely on an enemy battleship in the face of anti-aircraft fire that seriously damaged his engine. He made a successful water landing, saving his own life and that of his crewman. The action in which he took part removed a serious threat to our ground forces in the Philippine Islands. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

    General Orders: Commander 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0533 (September 11, 1945)
    Action Date: 26-Oct-44
    Service: Naval Reserve 
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Company: Bombing Squadron 18 (VB-18)
    Division: U.S.S. Intrepid (CV-11)

   
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Naval Aviator Wings

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1939, Naval Aviation Cadet Program/Navy Pre-flight School
 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffVS-5VT-5 TigersUSS Yorktown (CV-5)
USS Enterprise (CV-6)USS Intrepid (CV-11)Naval Reserve Forces CommandVA-75 Sunday Punchers
NAS Glenview ILNaval Air Special Weapons Facility (NASWF), Kirtland AFBCenter for Naval Aviation Technical Training (Faculty Staff)/Naval Air Technical Training Command (Faculty Staff)
  1940-1941, Naval Flight Schools
  1941-1942, VS-5
  1941-1942, VT-5 Tigers
  1941-1942, USS Yorktown (CV-5)
  1942-1943, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1944-1945, USS Intrepid (CV-11)
  1946-1952, Naval Reserve Forces Command
  1953-1954, VA-75 Sunday Punchers
  1956-1956, NAS Glenview IL
  1957-1957, Naval Air Special Weapons Facility (NASWF), Kirtland AFB
  1967-1968, Naval Air Technical Training Command (Faculty Staff)/NATTC (Faculty Staff) Lakehurst, NJ
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea1
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jan 22, 1957, Funeral Plane Crashes, Cdr. B.G. Preston on board (1957)
  Jan 22, 1957, Funeral Plane Crashes in Snow Storm, 1957.6
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